Larry Williams on Labour and the Sallies crying wolf

The Labour party and the Media party are calling savings in some spending areas “cuts”, but the total Health budget remains at or above levels instituted by past governments.

Larry Williams adds some clarity to?the?debate being milked by Labour.

The Government is demanding the country’s district health boards make some “savings”.

The cuts amount to just 0.3 per cent, or $139 million from a total budget of $11.4 billion in the year to June – hardly a savage cut.

We know health is getting more money than ever, so let’s not go there.

Problematic is that the “savings” are being made by not filling staff vacancies. Any way you look at that, it’s a cut to staff. That doesn’t look good.

Labour lifted the lid on these cuts via an Official Information Act request.

And Labour’s solution? …bearing in mind that all government spending is good government spending…

Labour’s answer to the “savings” is simple: go to the mythical bottomless pit of taxpayers’ money and just keep throwing ever more cash at health.

“Savings” and “efficiencies” are anathema to Labour. US Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders would be a nice fit for the party.

Health costs are the curse of Governments around the world. They are a never-ending spiral upwards.

Containing costs is almost impossible, so demanding fiscal discipline by hospitals is imperative.

Health is a political bogey. Parties fear tinkering with health because of the “we want everything for free” mentality. This was demonstrated when the Shipley Government introduced part-charges for hospital services. There was outrage, and the policy was dropped. Even Labour looked at hospital part-charges and means-testing at one point. But all was subsequently abolished – because of the backlash.

Health funding is terribly complicated but the ongoing partisan approach by political parties is making a mess of it.

Until the politicians have the courage to be non-partisan on how to fund health going forward, the mess will not go away.

No it won’t.

And the Sallies:

The Salvation Army is again zeroing in on child poverty in their “state of the nation” report. I like the Sallies – they do good work – but, like all these other groups who target children and poverty, they refuse to address the elephant in the room – dysfunctional families and child neglect.

He calls that right. It isn’t a poverty of money that is the issue, it is a poverty of parenting.


– NZHerald